Island Bop: Watch Etienne Charles Speak On Caribbean Jazz

Words by Jesse Serwer—

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Etienne Charles’ highly praiseworthy Caribbean jazz LP Creole Soul—remember we told you about it last week?—is out today. To celebrate, Revivalist, in partnership with LargeUp, is presenting an album release performance tonight at LPR in NYC. (Told y’all about that last week, too.)

In his conversation with Revivalist’s Eric Sandler, Etienne offers an in-depth breakdown of his influences for the highly personal project, noting the Caribbean influence on Thelonius Monk’s “Ruby, My Dear” and the blues roots of Dawn Penn’s “No No No,” both of which are covered on the album.

The Trini trumpeter definitely pulled from some diverse sources in assembling the project, emphasizing the connections between Caribbean music genres and American jazz. So it’s no surprise that he goes even deeper in this behind-the-scenes video on the making of the album, discussing the jolt caused by the passing of his late mentor, Trinidadian jazz player/producer Ralph MacDonald, and a recent trip to Haiti. Watch the below, and get your tickets for tonight’s show here.

It’s a busy week for Etienne overall. The play Callaloo: A Jazz Folktale, “a Caribbean jazz journey celebrating the folklore of Trinidad and Tobago” featuring Charles’ music, makes its NYC debut Saturday as part of the IATI Theater’s Performing Arts Marathon Festival. For more information on that, see here.

ETIENNE CHARLES – CREOLE SOUL (the making of the album) from Culture Shock Music on Vimeo.